SAN DIEGO -- As people prepare for a heat wave around San Diego County next week, there are warnings to watch out for rattlesnakes and fires.
“Since rattlesnakes are cold-blooded they use that heat to warm up and they become much more active. There’s not necessarily more of them – you just may see them more often," said Dan DeSousa with the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services.
So far this year, Animal Services has taken more than 780 rattlesnake-related calls – up more than 200 compared to last year and a spike in calls is expected next week.
“So if you hear that rattle – just stop and look. Don’t scream, don’t jump. Look and locate that sound and slowly step away," said DeSousa.
Higher temperatures will also increase the fire danger around the county.
Fire officials say there is a lot of brush drying out after rains earlier this year.
“We’re at about the half-way mark of fire season with heavy fire potential the rest of summer. We really want people to pay attention -- continue to create a defensible space, clear dead brush away from homes and be prepared," said Capt. Jon Heggie with Cal Fire.
More fire preparedness information is found here.